Some readers may have spotted a recent news story from Broadway. The Cort Theatre is in the process of being renamed the James Earl Jones Theatre.

In one fell swoop, New York has managed to make two bold statements that would be almost unprecedented in the West End. First, the powers that be have named a theatre after an African-American. Secondly, they have commemorated the achievements of a living actor.

Like London, many New York theatres are either named after abstract concepts or rich benefactors, the latter category frequently including members of producing dynasties on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition, there are theatres named after legendary actors, directors, playwrights and even a pair of theatre critics, Brooks Atkinson and Walter Kerr (either Kenneth Tynan and Michael Billington Theatres?) but predictably the Big Apple is ahead of London when it comes to diversity.

91-year-old James Earl Jones will be joining August Wilson in the African-American camp. Representing the female contingent, Ethel Barrymore has her name on the front of a building and the sorority can also claim a half share in the Lunt-Fontanne named for husband-and-wife acting team Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne.

At present, the West End is still overly represented by a combination of relatively random names such as a pair of Apollos on Shaftesbury Avenue and in Victoria, the Palace, the Lyceum, the Criterion etc., buildings named after producers / rich folk, though there are fewer of these than in the past, and famous actors / playwrights.

It is a great historical tribute to see Harold Pinter, Noël Coward, Ivor Novello, Stephen Sondheim and even David Garrick, not to neglect Lord Olivier at the National, proclaimed as icons in this fashion, while the incomparable Shakespeare has his Globe.

The powers that be had done a good job of keeping every category but dead white men out of the West End for centuries, including what, long before the days of cancel culture, John Knox described as “the monstrous regiment of women”. It took until 2018 for that to change and even today there is only a single theatre named after a prestigious female, the choreographer Gillian Lynne.

Before too long, perhaps Sonia Friedman or Nica Burns could attach their names to a building, while many might consider that the time has come for Dame Diana Rigg, Dame Judi Dench or perhaps Caryl Churchill to follow suit.

In fact, there is one other female exception but it really is exceptional, since we have Her Majesty’s Theatre. This is undoubtedly named for a woman but, were Prince Charles ever to ascend to the throne, the venue might well undergo a swift name change. One could possibly argue that both the Old Vic and Young Vic also come into the female name category but, using that logic, so would the Victoria Palace.

When it comes to those from ethnic minorities, the cupboard is currently completely bare and it could easily take a generation or more until that changes. Readers may have suggestions for those that might be in the vanguard, with husband-and-wife Adrian Lester and Lolita Chakrabarti somewhere near the top of the list, along with Kwame Kwei-Armah.

More prosaically, the winner of that competition could actually be someone that most of us have never heard of i.e. the kind of overseas billionaire who usually buys up football clubs might just fancy adding a bargain cultural location to the portfolio.

Subject to that exception, having identified likely candidates from the artistic community, we should expect a further impediment to delay diversity in London, since theatres here are rarely named after live performers or playwrights.

Therefore, the wait must continue and it could be a long one.